Saturday, September 12, 2015

Good Luck Ducks, Week 2: Wolverine or Beaver?

Two states at odds today.

I normally focus on the Ducks here, but it's very interesting that both Oregon-based Pac-12 schools are facing off against B1G teams in the Wolverine State today. Did someone coordinate this? The Beavers of Corvallis will be taking on Jim Harbaugh's Michigan squad in mere moments, with the Wolverines looking to rebound from a loss last week to Utah. And tonight, the Michigan State Spartans seek to avenge last year's come-from-ahead loss to the Ducks. There are apparently no more wolverines in Michigan proper, but beavers do exist in waterways in Oregon even if they're not quite roaming the streets. Still, this is an animal based battle that is more interesting than a duck and an ancient Greek.

As for the football games themselves, Oregon State seems to have found their quarterback in dynamic freshman Seth Collins. Michigan, meanwhile, will likely have been screamed at for the last 144 hours by Jim Harbaugh. On paper, this should be a Michigan win, but it's too early in the season to say anything with certainty.

Speaking of certainty, there's a whole lot of the opposite of that on Team Duck. While Vernon Adams proved himself skillful and proficient with the longball in his first FBS game, the secondary was perhaps even more of a disaster than anyone could have imagined. Last week's opening match against a proficient but lower tiered Eastern Washington team brought back flashbacks of the mid-ought years and Marques Binns nightmares. (Binns is apparently a convicted murderer now, not something most would want on their resume, regardless of whether said resume included being horrible at defending passes.)

Michigan State's Connor Cook is an impressive senior quarterback and figures to have his way with the Ducks, so this game must be a shootout in order for Oregon to have an inkling of a chance. The Ducks are coming in with a lot of recent history to coast on, but it would be surprising to me if they beat the Spartans for a second year in a row. One should resist overjudging a team based on their very first game, but I came away from last week feeling that this could very well have the makings of a 6-6 season for Oregon, something they haven't experienced in a long time. Let's just hope I'm wrong.

Ducks offensive clips from last year's meeting with Michigan State. Royce Freeman is still fantastic.

Game time is 5:00 PDT with national coverage on ABC. Get your rabbit ears out. Go Ducks!

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